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Transcript of UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA Dr. Jane Halonen Fall Dr. Jane Halonen Fall 2014 POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY PSY


    Department of Psychology

    Dr. Jane Halonen Fall 2014


    TR 2:30-3:45, Bldg 41.134


    Instructor: Dr. Jane Halonen Office: 233/ Building 41

    E-Mail: Phone: 474-2763

    Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday 9-11

    Number of Credit Hours: 3 semester hours

    Required Textbook:

    Positive Psychology:

    The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths (3rd edition)

    by Snyder, Lopez, & Pedrotti

    Sage Publications, 2015

    Assigned Readings:

    Several additional readings will enrich our positive psychology perspective

    throughout the semester. These will be accessible through e-learning.


    ”Believe that life is worth living, and your belief with help create the fact.” ~William James

    Founder of American Psychology

    Course Overview

    Within the last two decades, a new orientation with interesting historical roots has

    emerged in the psychological study of human behavior. Positive psychology focuses

    on explaining, predicting, and enhancing the strengths and virtues that help

    individuals and communities thrive. This framework represents quite a departure

  • from traditional psychology with its emphasis on objective reality, deviance and

    abnormality, and statistical differences.

    This course will include a review of the historical and philosophical foundations of

    positive psychology. We will explore applications of the science of positive

    psychology with attention to human strengths and virtues (e.g. integrity, altruism,

    hope, gratitude, wisdom, courage), positive affect (e.g., love, friendship), resilience,

    coping, workplace implications, and positive development across the lifespan. A

    special feature will be exploring how positive psychology principles can enhance

    planning for one’s own professional development.

    Special thanks to Dr. Laura Koppes and Dr. Dana Dunn for assistance in building the

    course architecture and contributing to the syllabus design.


    At the conclusion of this course, successful students will be able to


    • Recognize and demonstrate understanding of terminology, concepts, and theories

    in positive psychology

    • Describe differences between positive psychology and traditional orientations in


    • Identify most prominent contributors to the positive psychology literature

    Critical Thinking:

    • Critically evaluate and integrate the positive psychology scientific literature in

    informed science-based conclusions

    • Apply positive psychology to address psychological questions and problems


    • Demonstrate professional quality expression in writing, speaking, and poster


    • Effectively read and discuss primary sources in psychology

    • Use positive psychology principles to enhance personal and professional



    • Exhibit skill in recognizing human strengths in generating positive outcomes

    • Enact intentional strategies that reflect a positive orientation

  • Project Management/Professional Development

    • Exercise efficient and productive management of projects on both an individual

    and group level

    • Articulate a reasonable pathway for professional development following



    The purpose of course requirements is to provide the opportunity for you to

    demonstrate your accomplishment of the student learning outcomes. I expect you

    to take responsibility for your learning by being prepared and to take the initiative

    to ask questions and complete the course requirements above and beyond the

    minimum standards.

    1. Class Attendance and Participation: Attendance and participation in class

    discussion are extremely important; you learn when you ask questions to clarify

    information, share experiences, and discuss various issues of positive psychology.

    Class participation also includes exploring the challenges faced in situations and

    practicing relevant skills. Attendance will not be taken formally but you are

    expected to come to class. Please refer to the university attendance policy in the

    UWF Catalog ( There will be seven unannounced learning

    demonstrations that will require being present and punctual for the demonstration

    points to count. Only five demonstrations will be counted toward your grade.

    2. Required Readings: Reading (i.e., articles, text chapters) provides current

    theoretical and empirical research as well as applications. It is your responsibility

    to read the articles/chapters prior to the class for which they are assigned.

    Research articles will be available on e-Learning.

    3. In-Class Examinations: There will be 2 examinations, a midterm and a final,

    worth 100 points each. The exams will cover the textbook material (assigned

    reading), research articles, in-class activities, in-class lectures, and student


    Exam procedure. You should plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early for exam

    class periods. No extra time will be provided if you are late. No one can start the

    exam after the first person has finished the exam. Cell phones must be turned off

    and put away (if you require a cell phone or beeper for an emergency tell me

    BEFORE the exam). Do not wear hats during the exam. There should be nothing on

    your desk except for a pen/pencil.

    Make-up exams. Make-up exams will only be arranged for university-

    sponsored events or a documentable emergency/event (e.g., surgery, grad school

    interview), and will differ from the in-class exam. If you know in advance that you

    will miss an exam, please inform me as soon as possible prior to the exam.

    Otherwise, you must notify me within 24 hours with a documented reason why you

  • missed the exam (doctor’s note, police report, etc.) and schedule the make-up when

    I contact you about the exam. With no exceptions, failure to comply with these

    policies will result in a grade of zero for that exam. The substitute examination may

    be oral rather than written.

    4. In-Class Homework Demonstration: Seven (7) in-class homework

    demonstrations will be conducted, each worth 10 points. These demos will be

    unannounced, will be administered at the beginning of the class meeting, and will

    cover the reading and in-class material for that class meeting. The format of the

    demonstrations may be quizzes, critical thinking examples, or other strategies that

    reflect your reading. In other words, you will complete the demonstration while we

    are meeting in class. Therefore, you must attend class to get points for the demos.

    You also must be punctual. You can only secure the points if you are in your seat

    when the music used to open the class comes to an end. For the final course grade, I

    will drop your two lowest demonstration scores in the event that you needed to

    miss class or you ran into other problems of living. I do not permit make-ups.

    Therefore, use your 2 freebies wisely! When you submit the demos, please be sure

    to write your name on the submission. A maximum of 50 points can be earned from

    the demonstrations.

    5. Experiential Learning. Throughout the course, you will complete 10

    applications of reading outside of class. Each assignment is worth 10 points.

    Instructions will be given throughout the semester and posted on e-learning. For

    many of these assignments, you will prepare a typed summary submitted to e-

    learning via the dropbox. No late assignments will be accepted. When you submit

    the assignment, please be sure to write your name on the submission.

    Extra Credit Options: All extra credit options can provide no more than 10 points

    max to your total. This strategy is a way of providing you borderline insurance to

    avoid falling into the lower grade range, rather than generating substantial point

    totals. Each strategy is a different one. You may elect only two extra credit


    Option 1. Nonrandom Acts of Kindness

    For each week of the semester (15 weeks), you will engage in at least 2 random acts

    of kindness or good deeds. Do something kind for someone else without attracting

    any attention to yourself or taking any credit whatsoever. The kind act or good deed

    can be small (picking up the trash in a neighbor’s yard; putting a coin in an expired

    parking meter), but it should be done anonymously or secretly. To earn credit (5

    points), you must turn in a log of the activity and a reaction paper describing the

    cumulative impact of such intentional positivity at the end of the experience.

    Option 2. Integrity Event

    The Student Government Association runs a university-wide event that considers

    some aspects of academic inte